The Meat Send-Off

Remember my idea of a 3 month vegetarian experiment? I’m about to get started on it.

I initially wanted to get started a bit later in January, when Helene got back to Edmonton with me, and we could plan this out properly. But I’ve been thinking about meat and nutrition over the Holidays, and I might have found the perfect way to kick my meat habit in style :

On Sunday, I’m taking my family out to Au pied de cochon.

If you’re unfamiliar with this Montreal establishment, it’s a crazy, innovative restaurant that specializes in absolutely decadent and absolutely amazing meals. Their portions are immense, the atmosphere is festive, and the flavors of the menu are unmatched.

If that sounds unconvincing, consider this: they serve poutine au foie gras.

I do realize there is something counterproductive, almost, about partaking in an orgy of meat before turning vegetarian. I feel justified doing so, however, by the fact that this isn’t something I’m starting with half a regret in my heart. I don’t know if I will become a full-time vegetarian past my 3 months “trial period”, but I’m open to it, or to going back to meat, whichever makes the most sense at the time. And so, in a way, enjoying the meat at one of Montreal’s finest establishments sounds like it should be part of the experiment.

Already, this Holiday period has been heavy on the meat. Whether it’s the bacon and eggs breakfasts my dad proudly throws together, or the divine bison rib at my favorite Montreal restaurant Chez Yoyo, I’ve eaten more meat in a week than I have over the last 2 months in Edmonton. And truth be told, I’ve been yearning to go back to my carrots and greens in Edmonton.

But it’s the Holidays, right? Time to partake of excess for a while, all in good cheer with the family, and then go back to our lives with a hangover and a few extra pounds.

And as far as meat goes, Au pied de cochon sounds like the ultimate send-off, whether it turns out to be a temporary goodbye, or a permanent adieu.

About Daniel Roy

Daniel is a writer, backpack foodie, slow traveler, and endurance runner. He is the author of the upcoming book, "The Way of Slow Travel: A Hands-On Guide to the Best Travel of Your Life."


  1. How is it that you’ve eaten more meat in Montreal then in Beef Country (aka Edmonton)?!
    Just by looking at the picture, I want some of that poutine action! Speaking of Vegetarianism, we need to have you and Helene over for diner some time soon. We got a new Tajine for Christmas and would love to cook for you again! I can’t believe it’s probably been 6 months since we last dined together!!!


  2. Hey!

    Yeah, I know, paradoxical isn’t it? I actually ate a lot LESS meat in Edmonton, but the quality of it has shot up skywards. I can’t stop praising the meat I get from the market, for instance…

    I had a taste of that poutine last year… The mind-blowing thing about it is, it’s actually very well thought out and very balanced. It’s really, really more than just ‘foie gras thrown on top of a poutine’… For instance the fries are fried in duck fat. (And yeah, it’s INSANELY DECADENT.)

    As for the dinner invitation… Ya know, it HAS been way, way too long. I can’t believe it’s been 6 months already! Let’s get together as soon as Helene gets back from Montreal… She’s coming back to Edmonton a bit later than me. I would LOVE to try you guys’ tajine cooking!!

  3. When are ya’ll back?

  4. I’m back next Monday. Helene should be back around Jan. 15th or before that… She hasn’t bought her ticket back just yet.

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